The Hard Rock Hellraisers of W.A.N.T.E.D.
Formed in 2001, the mighty W.A.N.T.E.D. is ready to hard rock your world with their wildly memorable anthems. Based out of Thessaloniki in Greece, W.A.N.T.E.D. has just issued a brand spanking new collection of tunes entitled God’s Best Sinners – now available worldwide via Perris Records. They’ve opened for the likes of Whitesnake and Steven Adler in their home country, and are more than ready to take the rest of the planet by storm! Here is a recent interview we conducted with W.A.N.T.E.D.’s front man Dean Mess to find out more about the party hellraisers from Greece – topics including the new album, the live show with Steven Adler, their favorite beer and a whole lot more! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in W.A.N.T.E.D., and how long the band has been together.
Hi there Highwire readers! I’m Dean, the lead singer of W.A.N.T.E.D., a hard rock band from Greece which has been together for 15 years.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
The band is based in Thessaloniki ‘Rock city’,Greece , a hometown for many Greek artists and bands, especially when it comes down to rocking. You might have already heard Thessaloniki ‘cause it is Gus G.’s hometown as well. The local music scene is literally ‘on fire’ , rock , blues, metal and all kinds of genres bloom in every corner of the city nowadays and it’s something we are really happy about. I could easily recommend some of my brothers such as Jailcat, Waking Stone Giants, Shock Absorber, Redrum while leaving many good bands out as well.
Is there any story or concept behind the album title God’s Best Sinners?
Well, maybe the concept is not that clear on this album, but the songs have a common background that includes life stories dressed up with a lot of sins. And when we start talking about sins, we’re talking about women! It’s about living a life through good and bad times and always come out stronger and unharmed with the will to go on further!
Select two songs from God’s Best Sinners and what inspired the lyrics.
I would start with ‘Joanna’ in which the inspiration is easy to tell, a late-night socializing story which leads to a dreamy picture of a woman dancing around, spinning and stealing everybody’s heart! It came out naturally after an exploration trip I had with my buddies in some bars downtown. ‘Something to do with you’ is a song that is trying to describe the weird feeling a man has to deal with after he’s been hit by cupid’s arrow and how the tough and macho man turn into a sheep. It has happened to almost everyone around, at least once in a lifetime.
What could one expect from a live W.A.N.T.E.D. show?
We live for the live shows, it’s the main reason why we got the band together at first and we always try to give the best possible to the audience. We want everyone to have a great time, watching and living a rock show, even if he/she doesn’t know all of our songs. In the upcoming shows we are presenting the new album and we have worked on a very special set list that aims to take the audience higher than before!
What was it like opening for the legendary Whitesnake, and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
It was something really great for us back then, we were about to release our debut album and we got that call to open for Whitesnake . We didn’t get to meet with them but we had a really good time.
What was it like opening for Steven Adler and what was that experience like?
This was our first opening as a band and it’s still carved in our brains like one of the most exciting days in our band’s history. We had the chance to meet the band a day before and it was our first experience meeting with L.A. musicians that brought the vibes of American hard rock with them, I can’t even describe the fun. Steven Adler had come with his wolfpack of Hollywood ‘state of sleaze’ such as Jizzy Pearl , Brent Muscat , Robbie Crane , Michael Tomas , all of them were amazing guys to hang out with. Lots of stories from those days and all remembered with a big smile!
If W.A.N.T.E.D. could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
That’s a nice question, hard to answer though. Especially when you say it could be one from the past, you’re not making it any easier. Well, let’s say Guns N’ Roses big reunion tour would be a dream come true ‘cause we are all still fans and it’s gonna be a hell of a tour! From the bands of the past I would choose Led Zeppelin because it’s Led Zeppelin.
Any strange or scary happenings while on the road or at a show?
All I can think of is one of our first gigs back in the day where we were making many DIY shows in different places. So, there was this old neo-classical building we booked for a day, it used to be a small theatre as well. The stage was on the first floor which it happened to be an old wooden floor. The owner had warned us to stay as calm and quiet as we could, but the audience had a different opinion and started to jump up and down on the groove, so the floor started shaking really and I can tell you it was really scary. I believe we were playing Van Halen’s “Jump” at that point when the owner stopped the show in sweat and tried to calm everybody down. Buzzkiller, but probably saved many lives that night.
Have you ever played in the States or plan to do so in future days? If so, what was the experience like?
Of course it’s one of our dreams to make an American tour and we will make it someday. I hope that day comes sooner than expected!
How did you wind up working with Perris Records here in the States?
The idea was to work with an American label ‘cause we thought it would fit better for the sound we have. We were familiar with Perris Records since it had released some other Greek bands and artists, so we gave it a try and sent the demos for ‘Meat ’n Greed’ album in 2013, the answer was a big ‘yes’ and now we are on our second official release together and still going. It works well I believe and the main thing is that we entrust our material to people who believe in us and see the potential.
What made you decide to cover Center Of Eternity and has Ozzy heard or commented on it?
We have always been Ozzy’s fans and when we had the chance, we took part in that tribute with pleasure. Center Of Eternity was a common favourite of the band and we thought it would fit our sound at that time perfectly. Well I don’t know if the ‘Madman’ himself has heard of our cover, I would be very glad to hear that he did and I would hope he’d like it!
What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
We are real beer drinkers hellraisers in the band and we don’t hide it, although I run through a period of Gin Tonic these days.We think we are so close to get an endorsement by a Greek beer brewery, it’s called Vergina and it’s my favourite, we pile up the empty bottles making a big Christmas beer tree almost every week.
What’s up next for W.A.N.T.E.D.?
After the promotion of God’s Best Sinners we’re ready to get in the studio again. We’re in a really high mood and we feel more creative than ever. We recently got a new guitarist, Tom Hellfinger, the guy is amazing and I believe the best is yet to come for us.
Any final words of wisdom?
Yeah why not?! … Ἓν οἶδα ὅτι ουδὲν οἶδα – Socrates
Party on dudes!
Thanks for letting me in Ken , wish the best to Highwire Daze Online readers and we’re looking forward to play in U.S.A soon!
W.A.N.T.E.D. is: Dean Mess, Strutter, Tom Hellfinger, Angel, Constantine Matis
(Interview by Ken Morton)